Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tears for Nanertak - Review & Interview

Happy Saturday!!
2013 is going wonderful! Full of books and a lot of sun. Here in Uruguay we are in Summer so you can imagine that we are enjoying the beach and the long sunny days :)
Have fun and Happy reading :)
Tears for Nanertak
by Skip Hofstrand
What Happens When Your Home Disappears?
For most of us, it's hard to imagine our home vanishing. But for Nanertak, a polar bear cub, the melting of her Arctic homeland means that she has nowhere to live. She and her mother, Nanuck, are forced to escape. Their exit by iceberg is full of danger - the beginning of an incredible journey of survival. Many tears are shed along the way, but there is unexpected hope for Nanertak's future...along with a solution to the problem of her disappearing Arctic homeland.
Join Nanertak and Nanuck as they search for their new home in this beautiful story that is both educational and inspiring for children and adults alike.


1 - How was the experience of using water from the meltings on your illustrations?
Many years ago it became apparent to us (Steger Team) that the Arctic was changing in a dramatic fashion.. Visual proof is much more impactful than statistics and mathematics. Discussions with Inuit Elders also confirmed this ongoing change in their lives. .If you read my web site, you will understand how " special water" has been a core spiritual component of my watercolor painting when the melt was beyond natural reasons I had Will Steger collect some untimely melt water from the Greenland Ice Cap in 2003, knowing that I would be using it someday later in my watercolor art....that someday was in 2008-2010 when Global Warming was starting to unquestionably affect the Polar Bear. The story of Nanertak developed from these roots...fictionally non-fiction.

2 - What was your inspiration to write it?
The tale unfolded from 3 simple, repeating words. in the late winter of 2012.....".drip..drip..drip " ...which came to me as I was observing a melting isicle on a warm, sunny afternoon.The comparison to "tears" was a natural transition and suddenly the narrative was born..The art work followed easily once the narrative was completed since I had already done a large series of Global Warming watercolors the previous year so the color schemes were already formulated (the melt water discussed above was used in the color mixing and washes).
3 - How was the process of creating the illustrations? Some of them are very strong.
Besides classical style, I paint emotionally and spiritually and with meanings often hidden to the casual observer. Numenistic style brings all sorts of elements to the painting and often there are images produced I have not planned for but appreciate is part of this style. Color choices and specific design applications ( ex. sad faces on Polar Bears). are chosen for "mood" as much as for artistic reasons. In the book I attempted to blend the white of the pages,and the style and cadence of the narrative with the illustrations.
The narrative is "non -preachy" and non-technical regarding Global Warming as I believe it should be. It needs to be broached gently with our children....but needs to be broached.
4 - How was your experience on the expeditions? How have them help you with your art process?
Except for some early training expeditions I was not on the actual Expeditions themselves but stationed in a distant base camp.Will Steger long ago knew that I was not the type of person who could sit out a blizzard in a small tent for week(s) at a time so I gravitated to the Medical Director job.since I am A Board Cerified Emergency Physician. The job included ,among other things ,arranging evacuation routes, training all necessary personnel in emergency responses to anticipated problems., and being available for emergency problem solving and consultation 24/7. We even did some scientific research.I believe we have done over a dozen Expeditions to the Arctic and the Antarctic The Exporers were my eyes and ears on the Arctic and Antarctic environments and brought back pictures that I could paint from and special water. The direct observations from our team have always been more impactful to me than the sometimes contentious discussions about scientific facts although being a scientist ,as well ,I resonate to those type observations and calculations as well..
5 - What are your goals with this series?
I am expecting to achieve, first and foremost, a wonderful Children's Picture Book tale that can be read to children by their parents or school teachers (or by themselves) that is enjoyable in its own right. Special enough that adults will also read it with interest..I desire my art to produce an....Ah...Ha its quality as well.

6 - Why do you think is important to create conscious about Global Warming in the children?
There is obviously another aspect which incorporates the likelihood that this book can open discussion(s) about very necessary topics in Global Warming and its consequences for all aspects of of Earth Community , with our children , who are our only real hope for changing policies and directions in the future. Our present adult generation, for whatever reason, has lost the ability to truly LISTEN WITH RESPECT to each other and thereby end up with knee jerk positioning and ego determined positions that are impossible to reach consensus on. I see a different type of communicative style in our youth who are more willing to listen and come to compromise and consensus esp with regard to important issues....therein is my hope for our future....if this is "pie in the sky" make mine Lemon.

7 - How many more books are you planing to write about Nanertak?
Their will be two more books in Nanertak's Trilogy.....the second is on the board now...


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tears For Nanertak is a wonderful children book with a powerful and meaningful message, which adults and kids will love equally. A great statement about a problem affecting our society and our world but what is more a severe situation that threats nature and all the helpless animals.

Their house is disappearing and they have to run away in order to find a new home. Nanertak and her mother are suffering the consequences of someone else's actions. A journey full of danger will lead them to a very kind and a big-hearted captain. As any other children book the happy ending is present to give hope.

The ilustrations are so powerful that you can feel each emotion, each feeling. The author has the ability to capture the essence of the danger, the desperation, the sadness, the fear and the happiness going through the characters.

This is a fantastic book to share with our families and friends. Children should read it because they are the future and the hope for a change and adults too because kids will need guide to truly make a difference.

I have to thank the author for sending me a copy of the book for review purposes.

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